Government Bytes


Latest Taxpayer's Tab: Taxpayer-Funded Ads

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

You may have seen or heard ads for Obamacare recently, but did you know that you provided funding for many of them? In this week's edition of the Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF looks at a bill designed to alert taxpayers when they're viewing a commercial they paid for.

Representative Billy Long (R-MO) introduced H.R. 3308, the Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013, in the wake of a $700 million advertising campaign designed by the federal government to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Congressman Long's bill would require federal agencies to clearly label publicly-funded ads as such, in the hopes that more transparency will foster discussion about how taxpayer dollars are used to promote government initiatives. The bill has gained 111 cosponsors so far, and NTUF estimates that its provisions will not require any additional outlays.

Also featured this week:

  • Most Expensive: Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced H.R. 3383/S. 851, the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013, in order to make benefits for disabled veterans' caregivers more widely available. It would increase federal spending by $9.5 billion over five years, or $1.9 billion per year.
  • Least Expensive: Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) was the lead sponsor of H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013. It was designed to accompany the House farm bill and extend authority to fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). It would decrease federal spending by $20.6 billion over the next five years.
  • Wildcard: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced H.R. 2061/S. 994, the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2013. The DATA Act would extend the authority of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board for another two years, and increase that agency's reporting requirements in order to address issues of federal spending transparency. It would cost $79 million per year, or $395 million over the next five years.

For more on these bills, check out the latest issue of the Tab online here, and be sure to sign up for future email updates!